Ladies look to the future

With the West Ham United Ladies weekend game away at Newquay being a victim of the weather, it gave manager Tony Marshall a chance to reflect on the future and take in some of the club's junior games.

"The future of the club is very promising," said Marshall, who is preparing his senior side for next Sunday's FA Cup third round tie at home to Queen's Park Rangers. "Last week, the Essex Schools U16 and U14 sides took on Kent and won both games, 6-0 and 3-1 respectively. But the result was not important, the pleasing fact for me was that there were so many West Ham United players in both squads.

"One milestone that boded well for the future was recorded by Ella Chapman. With girls not able to play in adult football until their 16th birthday, Ella had an incredible birthday week. Ella scored for Essex U16s and then in her first game in adult football she scored for our reserves in an away game at Barnet.

"Ella is the first girl to represent and score for five different West Ham United teams, joining the U11s aged ten she has gone right through the system - U12, U14, U16 and reserves - also scoring goals along the way which is a great achievement for a girl currently playing as a right-back," the manager added.

"We have already had Chloe Coombs and Flo Amess come through to the senior squad and, with Ella joining them, they are the first of many and the next few years are going to be very exciting times at the club. For the last year or so we have had a lot of advice from Paul Heffer and his staff at the Academy and this has been extremely invaluable.

The West Ham United players in the U16 squad were: Chloe Coombes (Chalvedon), Megan Jiggins (Honywood), Zoe Marshall (Marshalls Park), Leanne Stubbings (Great Baddow), Kimmilee Day (Marshalls Park), Flo Amess (St. Bernard's), Ella Chapman (Langdon), Emma Sherwood (St. Clere's), Alex Colley (Francis Bardsley) and Claire Capon (Beauchamps).

Seven Hammers were in the U14 squad: Lauren Picton (Chafford Hundred Campus), Alex Baker (Albany), Chantelle Foster (Brittons), Sophie Reed (Warren Comprehensive), Danielle Robertson (Emerson Park), Eden Marsh (Emerson Park), and Faye Cook (Francis Bardsley). Jordan Hanley who also plays for the U14 side was in the Kent team.